Arsenal v Swansea: Arsene Wenger challenges Gunners to 'repair the damage' left by humiliating 6-0 defeat to Chelsea

Wenger wants his side to show they are capable of responding from such a heavy defeat to end the season as strongly as possible

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his side to quickly get their Barclays Premier League campaign back on course by beating Swansea to “repair the damage” from the “accident” of being thrashed 6-0 at Chelsea.

The Gunners boss - who cancelled Monday morning's scheduled pre-match press conference - remains at a loss to explain just why his men imploded on Saturday lunchtime at Stamford Bridge in what turned out to be a nightmare 1,000th match in charge for the Frenchman.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta issued a public apology on behalf of the players for the "unacceptable" and "embarrassing" capitulation, which leaves Arsenal some seven points off the pace, albeit with the chance to close that deficit if they win a match in hand against the out-of-form Swans.

 

Wenger - who will have both defender Kieran Gibbs and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain available following successful disciplinary appeals to the Football Association - knows if his men are to stand any chance of salvaging what has largely been a promising campaign, then they must not lose focus again.

"We just came out of two convincing results at Bayern Munich and at Tottenham with a very solid defensive performance, so you have to think that (Chelsea defeat) was an accident. How do you deal with the accident? You repair them, you repair the damage and you go for the next one," Wenger said when speaking to the in-house Arsenal Media channel.

"An accident has happened - that doesn't mean that you are not a good driver. It just means that we have played about 40 games this season and it is not what happened on Saturday that reflects the quality of this team.

"We have 62 points that we earned hard with quality games and that is what we want to focus on - to get back to that quality.

"The season is always decided by how well you finish, so at the most important moment of the season it is vital that we stick together."

Defender Laurent Koscielny is out because of a calf injury, and so 19-year-old Spaniard Hector Bellerin, who was on loan at Watford, has been drafted in as cover.

However, Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both available.

The Football Association on Monday night dismissed Gibbs' red card against Chelsea, given in a case of mistaken identity by referee Andre Marriner, and instead transferred the one-match suspension to Oxlade-Chamberlain - who had committed the handball in the six-yard box and indeed admitted his guilt at the time, but was waved away.

Arsenal then moved to have that offence downgraded on appeal, claiming the England midfielder had not in fact technically prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity as the shot from Chelsea's Eden Hazard looked to be going just wide. That claim was also upheld.

Marriner, meanwhile, has been given a match to referee this weekend despite his blunder at Stamford Bridge, and will take charge of Southampton versus Newcastle on Saturday.

It was felt the 43-year-old, who apologised for the mix up, should be handed a swift opportunity to put the incident behind him, with all four officials who were involved at Chelsea set to take part in matches this weekend.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks